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Left: Back To The Future Still / Marty McFly and Doc Brown | Right: Solar Eclipse
Uplifting News

Crazy Science Teacher Made Most Bizarre Prediction 50 Years Ago — His Students Never Expected It to Come True

Back in 1978, Patrick Moriarty, a teacher from upstate New York, decided to shake things up. Instead of the typical "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" he challenged his students to think bigger, multiplying it by 10! With a twinkle in his eye, Mr. Moriarty made a wild promise—that in 50 years, they'd witness an incredible scientific event, side by side.For those junior high kids, it seemed like a joke. After all, 50 years felt like an eternity away. But Mr. Moriarty wasn't joking. He was determined to make this dream a reality, come hell or high water.He Made Them An Offer They Couldn't Refuse—But May Just ForgetFlash forward to Webster, New York, 1978. Mr. Moriarty, a beloved science teacher, had a vision. He confidently told his students that in 2024, they'd gather to witness a total solar eclipse. It was met with laughter and raised eyebrows. Remembering an event 50 years later? Impossible, right?“Hey, circle that one on April 8, 2024,” Moriarty recalled telling his students. “We’re going to get together on that one.” Patrick Moriarty, 1978But Mr. Moriarty was no ordinary teacher. He was a man with a plan, armed with a passion for science and a heart of gold. He distributed worksheets showing the paths of upcoming eclipses, circling the one they'd see in 2024. "We're going to get together on that one," he declared, determination blazing in his eyes.One Simple Facebook Notification Got Their AttentionAs the years slipped by, Mr. Moriarty's promise faded into the background of their lives. Careers, families, and memories took center stage, pushing that distant vow to the back of their minds. Then, the digital age arrived, offering Mr. Moriarty a chance to reignite the flame of that promise.With the click of a button, Mr. Moriarty created a Facebook event, inviting his former students to join him in fulfilling their decades-old pact. Among the flurry of notifications, one stood out—a message from their old science teacher, reminding them of their long-ago vow. Nostalgia mingled with curiosity as former students clicked "attending," eager to reconnect with their past.Over 100 Students Showed Up To Complete The "Longest Homework Assignment In HistoryThe response was overwhelming. Former students, scattered across the country, flocked to Mr. Moriarty's driveway in Rochester, New York, ready to witness the eclipse they'd discussed all those years ago. Their presence was a testament to the lasting impact of Mr. Moriarty's dedication and belief in their shared dream."This has got to be the longest homework assignment in history!” Thompson, now 56, recalled telling Moriarty.As darkness fell and the eclipse began, a hush fell over the group. But for Mr. Moriarty, the real magic wasn't in the celestial spectacle—it was in the kindness and camaraderie of his former students, who had shown up to honor a promise made decades ago. As they stood together, the eclipse casting its shadow over them, Mr. Moriarty knew that their bond was stronger than any astronomical event.“When teachers go into education, they hope that they can be that kind of teacher that would have an impact on people and make a difference for people. And this event right here just firmed it up for me that I guess I did okay.” - Patrick Moriarty, The Washington Post The Real Lesson Could Never Be "Eclipsed" Patrick Moriarty (center, blue shirt) and a group of his former students watched the solar eclipse together on Monday in New York.Caitlin Moriarty HynickIn the end, it wasn't about the eclipse itself—it was about the enduring bonds forged in Mr. Moriarty's classroom all those years ago. As they stood together, bathed in the glow of the celestial event, the true significance of their reunion became clear. It was a celebration of friendship, resilience, and the profound impact one teacher can have on the lives of his students. For Mr. Moriarty and his former pupils, this was a moment that could never be eclipsed."The eclipse itself … took a back seat to what this was all about. The eclipse was my catalyst more than anything.” - Patrick Moriarty